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Book clubs  •  13 May 2016


Hello from the Gillespies book club notes

Monica McInerney’s family saga is a reading group selection to remember.

From the bestselling author of The House of Memories comes Hello from the Gillespies: a funny and heartfelt novel about miscommunication and mayhem in a family like no other. Take a look at our reading group questions and make your next book club discussion one to remember.


Reading group questions

  • A Christmas letter gone awry starts the action of the book. Does your family send a Christmas letter? How truthful is it? Have you ever wanted to be blunt and honest, and reveal all, as Angela does? What would happen if you did?
  • Have you ever accidentally sent an e-mail that you really didn't mean to send, and suffered major consequences for it?
  • Of the four Gillespie children, do you have a favourite? Who is it and why?
  • Why do Genevieve and Nick decide that Nick should go to London?
  • Ig is special to Angela in a way that her daughters are not, and Ig is the one who finally makes her realize that she is Angela Gillespie, mother of all four children. Why do you think their bond is so strong?
  • In Hello from the Gillespies we see many different responses to setbacks. For example, Nick withdraws, Lindy complains and Genevieve jokes about her situation. Yet by the end, each of them has found a positive solution to their setbacks. How is that?
  • Discuss the various secrets in the novel.
  • Angela forgets her own personal history, and Nick becomes fascinated by his genealogy. What is the role of the past and memory? Does it change throughout the book?
  • Although Genevieve, Victoria and Lindy are sisters close in age, the author creates distinct personalities for each of them. How does she accomplish this?
  • Which character changes the most over the course of the story? Why?
  • The book is about a far-flung family returning home to Errigal. What does the setting add to the novel? What does Errigal mean to each of the Gillespies? Is there a place that holds particular meaning for you?
  • What part of the book did you find the funniest? Talk about how different people laugh at different things.

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